July 30, 2009

Quilt Club grows one stitch, one member at a time

By Brenda L. Shelkey

The walls of the Underwood Public Library display some of the talents of members of the Underwood Quilt Club. The artistic ability of the creator of the quilted items inspires awe and admiration. Beginning quilters might even be intimidated by the skilled craftsmanship. But the goal is to inspire people to learn the art of quilting. The Underwood Quilt Club has officially been meeting since 2006, but that doesn’t mean its members have only been quilting that long. Thelma Johannes and Dorothy Fix are the leaders and often teachers for the group, providing lessons on new techniques for the newer members. Karen Johannes has been either sewing or quilting since she learned to sew in high school. In 1964 she began making quilts, typically block quilts, often denim ones for family and friends. She said, "After I made another denim graduation quilt, Thelma told me, ‘It’s time for you to graduate.’" That was about the time K. Johannes joined the quilting club. She said, "It’s a good pastime to keep busy and keep up on the new techniques." Teaching new quilting techniques is one of the goals of the group. T. Johannes explained that there is more to quilting than just sewing. She said, "The aim of the quilt club is to teach quilting as an art form." That means Johannes and Fix will help with the use of color and contrast, as well as finding projects and patterns that develop the skills of the newer members. Harmony Higbie, Underwood, and Vivian Carlson, Washburn, are two of the newer members to the group. They joined about a year ago, and have learned much from the veteran sewers. Higbie said, "We talk about what skills we want to learn, especially since I’m pretty new to quilting, then we do a project that uses that skill."



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